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Nathan MacKinnon Signs Massive Eight-Year Contract Extension

The Colorado Avalanche have signed Nathan MacKinnon to a massive eight-year extension, making him the NHL's new highest-paid player.
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Nathan MacKinnon is the NHL's new highest-paid player. 

With training camps set to open in less than 24 hours, the Colorado Avalanche saved the biggest move of the offseason for last, agreeing to terms with franchise forward Nathan MacKinnon on a mammoth eight-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $12.6 million. 

The deal, which now ties MacKinnon to Colorado through the 2030-31 season, kicks in at the start of the 2023-24 season and comes in at roughly $100,000 higher than Connor McDavid's current annual figure, officially setting the new standard for how much NHL players can be paid moving forward. 

Frankly, MacKinnon could make $15 million per year and still be worth it. 

Fresh off of his first Stanley Cup championship this past season, MacKinnon is a bonafide superstar who happens to be in the middle of his prime, a player who is elite on both sides of the puck while managing to perfectly blend his game-breaking skill and earth-shaking physicality. 

Not to mention, MacKinnon is also among the game's most consistent players, as well. The 27-year-old finished the 2021-22 season with an impressive 32 goals and 56 assists for 88 points in 65 games while averaging over 21 minutes in nightly ice time on the best team in the league, and, funnily enough, it was one of his weaker recent outputs, with MacKinnon typically flirting with the 100-point mark as he decimates opponents both at even-strength and on the power play. 

With their franchise face now locked in for nearly the next decade, the Avalanche have definitively propped their contention window open for as long as MacKinnon's new deal lasts. 

They'll need to make some difficult decisions ahead of next season, however. With just a little under $2 million in cap space at the moment and key players such as Bowen Byram, and J.T. Compher in need of new deals of their own next summer, the Avalanche will likely have one more kick at the can with their current supporting cast before some serious alterations are required in a year's time. 

If it means keeping MacKinnon, though, they're unlikely to lose much sleep over it. 

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